[LINK] Re: Australian Government Web Accessibility Audit Findings, Canberra, 18 January 2007

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Jan 24 08:37:12 AEDT 2007

At 10:18 AM 1/22/2007, Ivan Trundle wrote:
>I'll be really picky here and focus on just a few points:
>On 21/01/2007, at 4:13 PM, Tom Worthington wrote 
>>... Semantic XHTML with structural consistency; for example a 
>>second level heading <h2> always has a first level  heading above it <h1>.
>Why is this semantic? Numerically ordered, perhaps, but not at all 
>semantic in language. ...

Yes, I would have called this "structured", by analogy to structured 
programming. Perhaps the idea is that you can extract meaning from 
the structure, if the structure is rigorously enforced.

>>A little AI on the site's feedback form had allowed 80% of queries 
>>to be answered automatically.
>... Simply automating the answers does not therefore mean that 
>visitors are either better informed, or that their query is resolved. ...

I am assuming that the sort of queries answered automatically are the 
sort which would be in the FAQs. This should take much AI to do.

>>Alexi emphasized the need to educate the customers about the 
>>benefits of using standards ...
>Yes, the last thing that we need is for designers to design - far 
>too dangerous. ...

Sarcasm aside, I am with Alexi on this one. Too much time is wasted 
making pretty web pages, instead of making sure the content is 
correct. I am consulted on web designs where there are lots of pretty 
images and layout, but they forgot to include the name of the 
organisation, or say what the product was. The problem is that 
graphic designers think they can design web pages. Instead we need 
people architecting information. Ideally we should be able to let the 
graphic designers design graphics without being able to change the 
actual web design. That way they could do less harm.

>Or to have senior executives having any control ...

The senior executives should not trouble themselves (meddle in) the 
details of the web design and should leave it to experts. Of course 
those experts have to be able to defend the details of their design.

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                http://www.tomw.net.au/
Visiting Fellow, ANU      Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml  

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